August 31, 2007

U.S. workers got no ethics.

While ethical lapses among upper-level management are allowing them abuse worker health and safety, and grab millions of dollars via fraud, it appears that a similar lack of ethics exists among cube rats and other workers. According to a survey just released by the Ethics Resource Center, those workers are abusing their sick days.

[The Center] surveyed 3,452 employees in public, private and nonprofit organizations around the country and found sizable abuses of sick days.

More than one-third of those questioned by Opinion Research Corp. said they knew of co-workers who called in sick when they weren't.

Hmmm. Perhaps workers would be less likely to abuse their sick days if employers had to give paid leave for pregnancy, child care, or illness in the family. Or maybe if US workers had more vacation days—they currently have the fewest days of workers in any industrialized country—they'd have enough time to work on improving their ethics.

Just saying.

Via Kansas City Star.

Posted by Magpie at August 31, 2007 02:27 AM | Labor | Technorati links |
More than one-third of those questioned by Opinion Research Corp. said they knew of co-workers who called in sick when they weren't.
Did they also determine whether people talked about sports during work time, or made any personal phone calls?

This has the be the biggest "Well, DUH!" survey I've seen in a long time.

Anyway, where I work, we don't have a specific limit on sick days: if you're sick, you don't come to work. There are times, if you're out for a while, when they want verification that you saw a doctor and she OKed you to come back. And if you're out for a really long time, they put you on short-term (or long-term) disability. But if you call in and say, "Sorry, I feel crappy today, I'm not coming in," ain' no thang.

We also have a pretty liberal "personal time" policy, where your manager can allow you to take off for whatever reason, at her discretion. Of course, you could wind up with a dick for a manager, but if your manager's reasonable you have some flexibility.

And guess what: this system seems to be abused far less than it is in places where there are hard limits. It seems that when generally responsible people are placed on their honour, they tend to live up to it.

Posted by: Barry Leiba at August 31, 2007 10:38 AM

Hey, sometimes being sick of work is sick enough. Is it better to skip a day, or to blow up in the workplace?

The notion of "abuse" of sick days is stunning. In one workplace we were not allowed to take vacation days if we were sick and out of our miserly 6 annual sick days. How abusive is that?

Posted by: Scorpio at August 31, 2007 11:16 AM

The flip-side: maybe employers would be more gracious to their employees by way of more incentive if employees wouldn't abuse the one's that they're given.

Not enough paid vacation? Two weeks plus most federal holidays plus weekends... not enough? Of course we also have the trade off of having the largest economy in the world, having one of the highest per capita income in the world, and a lower class with a higher standard of living than most middle class citizens around the world.

Yep... we're really getting taken advantage of here in the U.S.

Posted by: M. Friedman at August 31, 2007 08:43 PM

I suppose that an iPod and a wide screen tv one makes payments on, plus an unaffordable mortgage for a McMansion, equates to a standard of living. Each to his own, Material Moron.

Posted by: Scorpio at September 1, 2007 01:11 PM